ASC

ASC-Workshop 2008

GIGA-IAS in Hamburg, 28.-29. November 2008

Themen in den Vortrags- und Diskussionsrunden waren „Governance In Rural China“ und „Regime Legitimacy In Contemporary China“ (I) und (II)

Programm

Abstracts

The Debate on Party Legitimacy in China: A Mixed Quantitative/Qualitative

Analysis

Bruce Gilley and Heike Holbig

We report results here from a mixed quantitative-qualitative analysis of 168 articles published in China on the question of regime and party legitimacy. We find that ideology remains a leading strategy of future legitimation for the CCP, alongside better known strategies of institution-building and social justice. We also find that liberalism, while less often proposed, remains a potent critique of regime legitimacy. We use these results to make predictions about the evolutionary path of institutional change of China’s political system, linking up Chinese elite debate with the wider scholarly debate of authoritarian durability.

Institutionalizing Village Governance in China

Björn Alpermann

Most studies of political reforms in rural China have concentrated on village elections, pointing out important effects of this democratic mechanism. However, while significant in broadening the “access to power, ” even well conducted village elections fall short of altering the “exercise of power, ” which has received far less research attention. Therefore, this article focuses on the procedural dimension of post-election village governance. It argues that there has been considerable formal institutionalization regarding the three democratic rights of decision-making, management and supervision in village affairs. This analysis is based on close scrutiny of provincial-level legislation on village governance, which constitutes a crucial, though largely untapped, source of information on village self-administration. In conclusion, the article suggests that progress in institutionalization has improved opportunities for villagers to manage their own affairs and control elected village officials, while at the same time strengthening the role played by Communist Party branches in village governance.

Internationalisierungsstrategien chinesischer Unternehmen: Implikationen für die internationale Managementforschung

Yun Schüler-Zhou, Margot Schüller

Nachdem japanische Unternehmen in den 80er und südkoreanische Unternehmen in den 90er Jahren durch ihre starke internationale Expansion auf sich aufmerksam machten, haben nun auch chinesische Unternehmen seit dem WTO-Beitritt des Landes Ende 2001 in erheblichem Umfang ihre Auslandsinvestitionen ausgeweitet und durch spektakuläre Unternehmensaufkäufe internationales Interesse hervorgerufen. Die Internationalisierung der chinesischen Unternehmen zeichnet sich dadurch aus, dass sie 1) auf einer starken Einbindung in globale Wertschöpfungsketten basiert, 2) einer aggressiven Strategie bei grenzüberschreitenden Unternehmensaufkäufen folgt und 3) sich die Internationalisierung stark auf natürliche Ressourcen und das produzierende Gewerbe konzentriert. Dieses Entwicklungsmuster wurde im Wesentlichen durch die Wirtschaftspolitik beeinflusst und kann durch traditionelle Theorieansätze nicht in ausreichendem Maße erklärt werden.

Nachdem japanische Unternehmen in den 80er und südkoreanische Unternehmen in den 90er Jahren durch ihre starke internationale Expansion auf sich aufmerksam machten, haben nun auch chinesische Unternehmen seit dem WTO-Beitritt des Landes Ende 2001 in erheblichem Umfang ihre Auslandsinvestitionen ausgeweitet und durch spektakuläre Unternehmensaufkäufe internationales Interesse hervorgerufen. Die Internationalisierung der chinesischen Unternehmen zeichnet sich dadurch aus, dass sie 1) auf einer starken Einbindung in globale Wertschöpfungsketten basiert, 2) einer aggressiven Strategie bei grenzüberschreitenden Unternehmensaufkäufen folgt und 3) sich die Internationalisierung stark auf natürliche Ressourcen und das produzierende Gewerbe konzentriert. Dieses Entwicklungsmuster wurde im Wesentlichen durch die Wirtschaftspolitik beeinflusst und kann durch traditionelle Theorieansätze nicht in ausreichendem Maße erklärt werden.

Die konventionellen Internationalisierungstheorien, die sich im Wesentlichen auf multinationale Unternehmen (multinational companies oder MNCs) aus den traditionellen Industrieländern konzentrieren, begründen die Internationalisierung mit der Verwertung firmeneigener Wettbewerbsvorteile und eines stufenweisen Lernprozesses. Dagegen berücksichtigt die latecomer-Perspektive die Internationalisierung von Ländern wie Japan, Südkorea, Singapur und Taiwan mit ihrer anfänglichen schwächeren Ressourcenausstattung und ihren catch-up- Strategien. Die Internationalisierung der chinesischen Unternehmen verlangt die Einbeziehung des institutionellen Ansatzes. Dies soll im vorliegenden Beitrag erfolgen, der auf einer intensiven Literaturanalyse basiert und zur neuen Diskussion in der internationalen Managementforschung beitragen will, die neben den traditionellen Internationalisierungstheorien auch neue Perspektiven einbezieht.

Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Failure in China:The Case of the Rural Tax and Fee Reform

Christian Göbel

My paper aims at explaining the implementation gap between the intentions of the Rural Tax and Fee Reform, which was carried out between 2000 and 2006, and ist eventual outcomes. The stated aim of the RTFR was the reduction of financial and other burden that had plagued China’s peasants since the mid-1980s and which had led to widespread dissatisfaction among them. Following petitions, protests and even large-scale riots, the central leadership recognized this dissatisfaction as a threat not only to rural, but to overall political stability in China. According to the central government’s narrative, peasant burden correlated with the excessive hiring of personnel, the lavish spending of public funds and high levels of debt in rural China. Therefore, the RTFR aimed not only at lessening peasant burden, but also at restructuring local-level governments with the ultimate aim to improve state distributive performance and thus to defuse the critical situation. The reform proceeded in several stages, and its outcome differed significantly from its initial intentions. Whereas the aim was to merely lighten peasant burden, rural taxes and levies are now completely rescinded. In addition, the localities were to bear the reform costs, but in the end the reform had to be financed out of central government coffers. Despite these measures, however, inequalities in government revenue and peasant income have kept increasing.

In my paper, I develop an explanation as to why the initial outcomes of the reform differed considerably from the results which the central government had originally intended. Specifically, I shed light on the respective impacts that the existing rules of the game of spatial politics and the strategies of actors to change these rules had on this difference between intentions and outcomes. Although the analysis is based on empirical data concerning nearly all levels of the Chinese polity, its prime analytical focus lies at the county level. There are several reasons for this. First, hardly any research has so far dealt with the role of the county government and bureaucracy in the RTFR. Second, a better understanding of county politics enables us to better assess the opportunities and risks of China’s future development.

Transformative State Capacity in Post-collective China: Evidence from the Introduction of the ‘New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NRCMS)’ in two Counties of Western China, 2006-2008

Sascha Klotzbücher and Peter Lässig

In 2002, the Chinese leadership proclaimed a turnover in national welfare policy: Local insurances at county level, called ‘New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NRCMS)’ should cover all counties by 2010. This paper addresses the main characteristics of NRCMS as an example for ‘transformative state capacity’ in decentralised policy fields in socialist societies and a feature called ‘responsiveness’ as a means of its introduction. Reviewing the modes of governance and comparing the introduction of local schemes based on two case studies of Western China since 2006, this paper argues that the fast progressing of the local scheme and the flexibility shown by local administrators in considering structural and procedural adjustments are not only the result of central directives but of local initiatives. Already existing complementary forms of locally embedded responsiveness to the needs and perceptions of health care recipients are crucial in restructuring the administration and discharge of health care. These new modes of governance using centrally defined local feedback loops are different from hierarchical control and the formal institutionalised representation of interests of the local population, and are a rough but effective means to enhance the efficiency of control and financing by the central state. These feedback loops, which are based on voluntary enrolment and on central state subsidies made dependent on contributions received from participants and the local government, are firmly established modes at the grassroots’ level to make the system effective and sustainable.

Persistent System, Legitimate Authoritarianism? Delineating a new research agenda for the China studies field

Gunter Schubert

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